“He’ll bite us and make us all into vampires! And then we’ll be dead, yet still alive! Like Leonard Cohen!”
“The lavatory’s free! (unlike the country under the Thatcherite junta!)”
“The vampire’s escaped from the Little Persons’ Room!”
Terri and I are celebrating Halloween by watching Nasty, our favorite Young Ones episode and handing out candy to the costumed mendicant urchins that ring our bell.
So, hey, guess what, it snowed today.
It actually snowed a lot and even accumulated a little, and Terri has better pictures of the heaving branches of heavy, wet, October snow, which she will no doubt post.
I went into Harvard Square to get my hair cut at Custom Barber Shop. I also had my annual Hot Vanilla from Toscanini’s which is just like a heart attack in a paper cup, but, what a hot, frothy, blissful way to die. I also picked up some lovely paper, cards, and envelopes from Bob Slate. Tomorrow, we’re heading to Letterpress Things to pick up some holiday printing supplies. Also, as I think I’ve pointed out in the past, none of my typefaces have these two symbols which have become important in the world: @ and /. However, I have a few hundred ¢s.
And tonight, we’re Bonnie and Clyding it up for Julie and Jim’s annual Halloween festivities. There will no doubt be photographic evidence.
For those of you who are dying to know whether rock star GM Theo Epstein will get on that plane and regret it soon and for the rest of his life, there is some interesting scoop in Gordon Edes boston.com chat. I guess it’s not scoop so much as it’s inside information into some of the personal things behind the negotiations. As Michael Corleone would say, it’s never “just business”.
I didn’t watch of the World Series except for the last game; it’s just hard to deal with Fox sports when you can’t turn down Joe Buck and Tim McCarver and turn up Jerry and Joe on WEEI. (Digression: speaking of Joe, did you know his son Duke is in the NYY media? We saw him on ESPN, working on the field at the Penn State game the other weekend, which was coincidentally being called by Sean McDonough. Anyway….) I agree with Ed that Lyle Lovett’s version of God Bless America, accompanied by cello, was actually really nice. And, yeah, I’m glad the White Sox won.
But most of all, I was glad to see Roberto Clemente make the Latino Legends team. He died way before his time.
I’ve become a big Jonathan Lethem fan in the last several months, after reading The Fortress of Solutude, Motherless Brooklyn, and Amnesia Moon.There’s a long and worthwhile interview from last week (which I did point to on my little links thing down the right). It starts getting more fun toward the end as he starts getting a little cranked up about literary snobiness toward non-’realistic’ fiction:
When you encounter the argument that there is a hierarchy where certain kinds of literary operations—which we’ll call ‘realism,’ for want of a handier term, though I’ll insist on the scare quotes—represent the only authentic and esteemed tradition, well, it’s a load of horseshit. When you see or hear that kind of hierarchy being proposed, it’s not a literary-critical operation. It’s a class operation. In that system of allusions, of unspoken castes and quarantines, mimetic fiction is associated with propriety, with the status quo defending itself, anxiously, against incursions from the great and wooly Beyond. When ‘realism’ is esteemed over other kinds of literary methods, you’re no longer in a literary-critical conversation; you’ve entered a displaced conversation about class. About the need for the Brahmin to keep an Untouchable well-marked and in close proximity, in order to confirm his role as Brahmin. Once something has been relegated or outcast or quarantined from propriety, you’re seeing a kind of burnishing of class credentials, a hastening to the redoubt, a drawing-up of the drawbridge of the castle, because the moat is too full of terrifying fish and fowl. A critic who expends much energy on delineating quarantines—“This sort of material is legitimate” is testifying as to their own anxieties as to whether or not they themselves are on the legitimate side of some imagined moat or gulf.
Her Turniptude gives you the Garbo update so I don’t have to. But I will point out that John Gilbert’s character, the Spanish Ambassador, articulates what is sort of the RealFake credo when he meets the incognito Queen of Sweden in a tavern: “Well, that’s civilization. To disguise the elemental with the glamorous.”
As Terri points out, we are going to see Queen Christina at the Brattle tomorrow night. If you read this, you are officially invited!
In light of this, perhaps you should tear yourself away from your couch and actually get out to the Brattle more often. It’s got a long and storied history, and I’d hate to see it close its doors. Maybe I’ll give out memberships for Christmas, in time for our annual ritual screening of It’s A Wonderful Life.
I spent a rainy Sunday waiting for the triumphant return of Terri reading the I Ching and watching four episodes of Twin Peaks. (Yes, still getting through last year’s Christmas presents).
You can never be as obsessed with something as you are when you’re 17, so I had been wondering what I’d still think of it. It seems much less of an oddity now, probably partly because it was so influential; careful cinematography and quirky characters are all over TV, well at least the remaining fiction series on TV. It’s more of a soap opera than I remember. I had forgotten about “Invitation to Love” the soap-opera-within-a-soap-opera the denizens watch; self-conscious or not, it’s still a soap opera. The characters are quirky but they are still pretty cardboard, there are identical cousins, plots and double crossings, affairs, generic town institutions (“the diner,” “the mill,” “the hotel”). Even the theme song could be for a soap opera. But I don’t have to suspend my critical faculties too hard to get swept up in the mood again.
Terri came home while I was 3/4 of the way through Episode 6. She was saying that she could never figure out when it was supposed to be happening. This led to a small epiphany. Part of what helps establish the creepy mood is the stuck-in-the-50′s clothes and sets and the score. But there’s no rock music in Twin Peaks. Not really. There’s some reverby 50′s twangy guitar in some of the songs. But the whole thing happens in a parallel universe where Elvis was never born. I think it really does give it a timeless quality which is really part of the appeal. I don’t think I’d mind living in a world where rock never existed.
It sucked, but it could have been worse. At least it was short, and they didn’t bother getting our hopes up.
The irony is that the only team still in it that I have any feeling for is the one that just handed us our still-beating hearts, the other Sox.
Oh, my god. Christopher Lydon interviews the Dresden Dolls. I am waiting at the edge of my seat for the inevitable moment when they discuss the song “Christopher Lydon“. The world short circuits sometimes.